Happy VooDoo Gris Gris

By | 25 March 11

Happy VooDoo Gris GrisHappy Voodoo Gris Gris: Over 45 Easy-To-Make Lucky Charms & Talismans, by Mademoiselle de la Brindille / Valerie Lefebvre; text by Anne-Claire Leveque.

Sometimes I buy a book because it’s simply delightful.  The art is very original, made with refreshing and simple materials, and the book just makes me smile.

This is one of those books.

Sure, some of this artwork has a Voodoo connection. The author talks about magic numbers and pious images used in art.  If that bothers you, don’t read this book.

However, if you’d love to include more art in your everyday world and whimsy delights you… this book is a must-own.

It’s also ideal if you’re working on a sacred area in  your home, or creating a personal shrine.

For me, this book is wonderful!

  • I fell in love with the loops of wire and charms and flowers that comprise the very informal “Unusual center light” on pages 26 and 27.
  • My cat (like the author’s) would be fascinated by the “Wishing tree” on pages 38 and 39.
  • The “Garland of happiness” on page 40 is something I want over my desk… it’s a truly glorious idea!

Every project (there are 45 in this book) includes a list of supplies and step-by-step directions.  They’re not terribly detailed.

For example, “…top-stitch with the machine using turquoise thread” assumes that you have a sewing machine and know how to use it.

However, the informality of this book makes it clear that you can do the same thing with a needle and thread, and no sewing machine.

In fact, you can (and should!) improvise to create your own versions of these projects. This book is the inspiration; you make each project unique.

45 projects including shrines, household decorations, jewelry, fabric art and wearables, and painting projects.

Pros

  • Lots of colorful, whimsical photos to inspire you.
  • An informal writing style makes this very accessible to beginners through advanced artists (and non-artists).
  • On at least every second page, I see something to gasp at and think, “Ooh, I could do something like that…”

Cons

  • If Voodoo and alternative spirituality bother or offend you, there are other great books to inspire you.  Skip this one.
  • Students who want every step spelled out with basic directions and lots of photos… well, this isn’t your kind of book.  It’s for free spirits whose lives are very spontaneous and unstructured.

Summary

Every time I pick up this book, I read just a page or two before I have an idea for a very cool project.  So, I’ve never actually read this entire book, even though I’ve owned it for over a year.

If words like voodoo, talismans, and magic make you shudder, avoid this book.

However, if ethnic, improvised art inspires you, this is a book you’ll display so you look at it often.  It might be on my top 10 list of favorite mixed-media arts/crafts books.

art books books review rating - 4.5 stars

Available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

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